Jailed Pussy Riot Member’s Location Unclear in Prison Transfer

PR

November 3, 2013; BBC News Europe

 

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the imprisoned Pussy Riot member who has been protesting the conditions at the Morovia Penal Colony, was moved by train around October 21st, and apparently her location is being kept from family members. Reportedly, she was last seen by another passenger on October 24th, as the train arrived in the city of Chelyabinsk in the Ural mountains.

This type of transfer is known as “etap,” and it entails the transfer of prisoners without a clear known destination. It can result in their being incommunicado for periods up to two months. The Daily Beast describes the practice as a “veritable gray zone in the Russian corrective system that can last from two weeks to two months, depending on the number of stops at transit prisons on the way.” The Federal Penitentiary Service is reported to have said that Tolokonnikova was being sent to a new prison and that her family would be informed where she is within 10 days of arrival.

Tolokonnikova had asked to be transferred, but that request had been denied earlier.—Ruth McCambridge